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Prelacteal Feeding Patterns in the Philippines – Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey

Prelacteal Feeding Patterns in the Philippines


Fernandez, Maria Erlinda & Popkin, Barry M. (1988). Prelacteal Feeding Patterns in the Philippines. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 21(4), 303-314.


The neonatal period is one of great importance for infant survival in low income countries. Breast-feeding, particularly feeding of colostrum, is recommended to be initiated as quickly as possible during this period. Much has been written about breast-feeding patterns in low income countries. Nevertheless, few quantitative descriptions on feeding of the neonate are available. This study describes in detail patterns in the consumption of colostrum, prelacteal feeds and breast-milk substitutes in the first two days of life. A prospective survey of 3080 infants representative of rural and urban areas in the Metropolitan Cebu region of the Philippines comprises the sample. There was considerable heterogeneity of feeding in this sample, particularly in urban areas. Feeding of prelacteal foods was the dominant pattern in the first day, while exclusive breast-feeding was the major pattern in the second day. Proportions of women feeding prelacteal foods and breast-milk substitutes were higher among urban women and those with hospital deliveries than among rural women and those having home deliveries. The amounts of colostrum and other prelacteal feeds consumed varied by feeding pattern.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Ecology of Food and Nutrition


Fernandez, Maria Erlinda
Popkin, Barry M.